What are the steps of a formal case?
Step 1: Complete Fact Sheet and Questionnaire
This paperwork is provided to you by an annulment companion or a priest to request the Tribunal to accept your case for an annulment. The petitioner also submits all documents that are necessary for the case with this paperwork. The documents required include an original certificate of baptism, civil marriage license and divorce decree, and the names and addresses of four witnesses.
Step 2: Locating the Respondent
The petitioner should contact the respondent that he or she is seeking an annulment if that is possible. The annulment companion or the Tribunal can assist a petitioner locate a respondent.
Step 3: Acceptance of Libellus
The Tribunal will decide to accept the petition (a libellus) if there are any possible grounds to hear the case and assign the various roles to form a court.
Step 4: Citation of the Parties
The respondent is contacted by the Tribunal and given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings.
Step 5: Evidence Collection
The witnesses will be contacted and further evidence will be gathered. A petitioner may be asked to testify in person at the Tribunal to further assist them in their case.
Step 6: Publication of the Acts
The collection of evidence is completed and the advocates compose their briefs and submit them to the judges.
Step 7: Decision and Sentence
The judges make their ruling and a formal Publication of Sentence is issued. If the decision was in the affirmative, fifteen days must pass before the final decree is issued.
Step 8: Appeals
An appeal may be made by any party to the Tribunal within fifteen days of the Publication of Sentence. The case will then be heard by a Court of Second Instance. If no appeal is made, the final decree is issued.